24 June 2007

Organising the linen cupboard

When I decided that I would stop spending, along with that decision came the imperative of looking after what I own. We have always bought the best quality we could afford at the time and when you live simply that is a necessity. You aim to have good quality that will last a long time, and to look after everything you buy so you don't have to keep replacing it. In the coming weeks I'll write about looking after various items in your home, today it's the linen cupboard.

One of the things I do every six months or so is to clean out my linen cupboard. It gives me the opportunity to clean down the shelves and get rid of what I'm not using. I cleaned my cupboard out this morning and now have a small bag of sheets and duvet covers that I'll take to work with me next week to give to families who come in. I also have a nice bag of flannel rags that I cut up from old sheets.

sheets. sheetsW

When you clean out your linen cupboard, remove everything to give yourself a clean slate to start with. Your shelves should be painted or covered with plastic sheeting. Wooden shelves tend to stain linens over time. Fill a small bucket with soapy water and wipe down the shelves, dry each shelf well with an old towel. You can add essential oil to your soapy water to give the cupboard sweet smell. Look for any signs of cockroaches, silverfish or other pests. If you find any such signs, place some borax traps at the back of the linens to kill whatever has made their home in your cupboard.

Go through all your linens and refold all of them. Hopefully you won't have too much folding to do but it is worth it to make sure they're not harbouring pests or mould. Put back only those linens that you use. Don't be fooled into thinking the rose and primrose comforter your granny gave you will be used in the future. If you haven't use it in the past year, give it to someone who will use it. What use is a comforter, even if it is a cherish one, that is not used? When you've made the decisions on what will go back, place it all on your shelves in a way that makes sense to you.

We have a queen size bed so all my queen fitted and flat sheets are together on my main shelf. Under that shelf, I keep duvet covers and pillow slips. Over them I have sheets, duvet covers and odd sided pillow slips to other beds in the house that are only used when guests are here. Below the sheets are guest towels. The towels we use regularly are in our bathroom. Organising my cupboard like that makes sense to me so when I need new sheets, I don't have to sort through the lot of them to find what I need.

This is an easy task that should take you about 30 minutes to complete. I tell you, you'll feel wonderful when it's finished. So if you've yet to start organising your home, start with this small thing and we'll take it from there.
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